Recent Google forced changes mean that the search engine giant has to change the way certain search results are presented or they could face a stiff penalty. You may have heard about the U.S. Federal Trade Commission announcement last week, which basically said that they didn't find Google's search engine results to be in violation of the U.S. antitrust laws. However, according to a Jan. 10 Yahoo! report, it doesn't look like Europe believes Google's search results are all that honest.
The European Commission has presented their claim that Google is manipulating traffic by diverting search results to their own services. In a recent interview with the Financial Times of London, EU competition chief, Joaquin Almunia, expressed his thoughts by saying,
"We are still investigating, but my conviction is that they are diverting traffic. They are monetizing this kind of business, the strong position they have in the general search market and this is not only a dominant position, I think – I fear – there is an abuse of this dominant position.”
It was reported by Bloomberg, that the investigation into Google was initiated by complaints from the site Foundem, which has been complaining about Google’s practices for several years. They then went on to file a formal complaint with the EU.
According to the EU, this conflict can be resolved if Google clearly distinguishes when they are using their own services such as: Maps, Shopping and Travel. If Google doesn't fix the issue and they are found to be in violation of the European antitrust laws, they could be fined as much as $3.79 billion (€2.86bn),which is a whopping 10% of their global annual turnover.